Wake up Char­lie Baker! It’s time to take care of vets, our econ­omy

Sentinel & Enterprise - - OPINION - John MacDon­ald is a vet­eran of the U. S. Air Force, Op­er­a­tion Desert Storm and a vet­eran ad­vo­cate.

It is time for our fear­ful Gov­er­nor, Charles Duane Baker, to wake up and re­al­ize that there is more to life in 2020 than daily coron­avirus brief­ings.

It’s time to fo­cus more on the ad­verse ef­fects of the coron­avirus shut­downs to tax­pay­ers, busi­nesses and yes, our vet­er­ans.

While you have been en­joy­ing your sum­mer at the beach with masks on and some so­cial dis­tanc­ing in the sand, rad­i­cal pro­gres­sive Democrats on Bea­con Hill are push­ing dras­tic leg­is­la­tion that would ex­tend the cur­rent mora­to­rium on rental evic­tions for non-pay­ment of rent by at least an­other year.

The new mora­to­rium would kick in af­ter the com­mon­wealth’s cur­rent pan­demic-re­lated emer­gency or­der is al­ready lifted.

The pro­posal is an­other unashamed ex­am­ple of the Democrats’ ef­forts to fur­ther pun­ish Mas­sachusetts tax­pay­ers, prop­erty own­ers, mi­nor­ity-owned busi­nesses, com­mer­cial real es­tate man­agers, land­lords and the like.

The pro­posal will also de­stroy an al­ready-reel­ing com­mer­cial real es­tate in­dus­try and make re­cov­ery near-im­pos­si­ble.

Will Baker step in, be­fore it’s too late or will the real es­tate mar­ket crash with his blind eye to the re­al­ity of busi­ness com­mu­nity needs?

Hous­ing providers who have man­aged to nav­i­gate through the pan­demic are still bear­ing their ex­penses while pro­vid­ing an es­sen­tial ser­vice, which is a place for all of our res­i­dents to live.

Banks are al­ready tight­en­ing up lend­ing cri­te­ria.

Prop­erty own­ers will not be able to get lines of credit or re­fi­nance.

A prom­i­nent Boston com­mu­nity bank has al­ready pushed out their re­quire­ments ask­ing for six months of es­crowed pay­ments from bor­row­ers with ex­or­bi­tant in­ter­est rates.

Bot­tom line, they are not lend­ing.

We can add a po­ten­tial bank­ing cri­sis to the im­pact of this pro­posed leg­is­la­tion.

Who will ex­e­cute main­te­nance ser­vices when land­lords lose their prop­er­ties?

Who will buy these prop­er­ties when own­ers lose them? Where will res­i­dents go when prop­er­ties are sold from bank­ruptcy?

Where are you Char­lie?

Now here is an­other grave is­sue that is im­pact­ing vet­er­ans that has fallen off the radar: Vet­eran ser­vices.

As mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties strug­gle to nav­i­gate the im­pact of the coron­avirus, there is less tax rev­enue com­ing into mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, as both res­i­dents and busi­ness bat­tle to re­cover; and it’s im­pact­ing vet­er­ans’ ser­vices in these com­mu­ni­ties.

Like many small and mid­size com­mu­ni­ties, the town of Tyn­gs­boro is con­sid­er­ing re­duc­ing the num­ber of hours it pro­vides to vet­er­ans.

The Vet­eran Ser­vice Of­fi­cers in these com­mu­ni­ties are po­ten­tially be­ing asked to re­duce their hours in a time where vet­er­ans are in need of ser­vices more than ever.

Baker and our Legislatur­e need to as­sure vet­er­ans that ser­vices and ac­cess to the Vet­eran Ser­vices Of­fi­cer is at a min­i­mum of 40 hours per week.

Af­ter talk­ing with Matt Han­son, the Town of Tyn­gs­boro’s town ad­min­is­tra­tor, he be­lieves the de­mand for vet­eran ser­vices have dropped off, while one town se­lect­man re­futes that in­for­ma­tion and sees an in­crease in de­mand for not only Tyn­gs­boro, but from sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

As older vet­er­ans who served in the Korean and Viet­nam War dwin­dle, a new surge of vet­er­ans from Desert Storm to the Iraq and Afghanista­n Wars are start­ing to ac­cess the ben­e­fits they have earned.

The need for mu­nic­i­pal vet­eran ser­vices is sig­nif­i­cant and de­mand will only in­crease as these vet­eran groups grow older.

Whether the an­swer is shared dis­trict vet­eran ser­vices for smaller mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties or a change in a min­i­mum of hours pro­vided to vet­er­ans, Baker needs to be­come more en­gaged with the world out­side of the daily in­creases and de­creases of the coron­avirus.

Both land­lords and vet­er­ans need ad­vo­cates and as­sur­ances that their in­vest­ments and needs will be met.

It is time for Baker to de­fend Mas­sachusetts tax­pay­ers, the busi­ness com­mu­nity, and vet­er­ans from rad­i­cal pro­gres­sive leg­is­la­tors.

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